mmm-yoso!!! is a food blog. There's always something to eat somewhere and sometimes it is interesting. Cathy is writing today; Kirk is busy with many work related projects. This location of El Pollo Grill has been open since 2002 in the heart of Lemon Grove (on Broadway, kitty corner from the giant Lemon). It originally had been in a smaller location nearby, since 1987.
Parking can be tight in front of the strip of storefronts, but there are plenty of spaces in the back and the entrance is easy to find.
At any point in the day, the flaming grill is filled with marinated chickens. It can get busy; everything is fresh.
The Bonita Road location of El Pollo Grill got much busier when the San Diego Chargers football team left for Carson and became the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017. The owner, Victor Lopez, decided to give away a free chicken taco to anyone dropping by on the day following a Los Angeles Chargers *loss*. This business model was written up in Forbes Magazine, CBS sports, USA Today and was a pretty major news story locally...at some point (I think October), the Lemon Grove location also jumped into the 'Spanos Taco' frenzy, also giving away a free chicken taco (regular price is $2.99) after a Chargers loss. Thousands of free tacos were given away last year.
Order, pay, your number is called and you can pick it up on the other side of the cash register.
"Special C": 1/2 chicken, rice, charro beans, corn tortillas, salsa ($11.99). A good test of 'basics'. Plenty of food. Moist chicken, nicely flavored from the marinade-grilled perfectly(light, crisp skin). The rice and charro beans (whole beans, cooked with chiles) are hearty, flavorful. The hot, fresh made corn tortillas are thin and wonderful. A meal with some leftovers.
"Michelle's Walnut and spinach salad" ($10.99). Hot grilled no-skin chicken (white meat; but you can ask for dark), a mix of spinach and Romaine with walnuts, tomato, avocado, dried cranberries, feta and onion. Choice of dressings. A wonderful meal or two; refreshing on these hot days we have had...
The menu does have items other than chicken. This is the a la carte plate of shredded beef chimichanga ($6.99). All beef. All good. Seriously. Look at the (wonderful, fresh, garlic-y, not onion-y) guacamole served with a small shredded lettuce salad toped with sour cream. A meal...
Only on Friday does El Pollo Grill make chile rellenos ($9.99). From scratch, fresh, cheese filled chiles covered with an extremely flavorful sauce which is light enough not to wreck the delicate egg/flour fried batter (there's still crunch). The refried beans are very good.
Everything is good here.
El Pollo Grill 7836 Broadway Lemon Grove, CA 91945 (619)697-7153 website Opens daily at 9, closes at 9 Tues-Fri, 8 on Mon & Sat, 5 on Sunday.